Shallow Grave

( 2 )

Overview

When they're hauled into the office in the wake of a stupid prank, schoolmates Elliot and Shannon have no idea that hiding the principal's Smart Car in the woods was the least of their problems. As part of their punishment, the pair is tasked to clean up the school boathouse. Should be an easy enough task, they figure: chuck all the broken stuff, organize whatever still works and get the weekend underway. But when Shannon talks Elliot into making a Ouija board, things take a turn for the horrifying. When the pair...

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Shallow Grave

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Overview

When they're hauled into the office in the wake of a stupid prank, schoolmates Elliot and Shannon have no idea that hiding the principal's Smart Car in the woods was the least of their problems. As part of their punishment, the pair is tasked to clean up the school boathouse. Should be an easy enough task, they figure: chuck all the broken stuff, organize whatever still works and get the weekend underway. But when Shannon talks Elliot into making a Ouija board, things take a turn for the horrifying. When the pair accidentally unleashes a dark force, they find themselves caught up in a mystery that must be solved if they have any hope of escape.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Media Connection
"A fast-paced, entertaining ghost story that targets reluctant readers with its high interest, low readability format."
NJ Youth Services
"Enough creepiness to keep readers on the edge of their seat."
TriState YA Book Review Committee
"A thrilling short novel...This fast paced mystery is sure to delight young adult and reluctant readers."
Booklist
"Brief hints of school and family drama flesh out the two main characters, and Elliot's snappy first-person narrative will be relatable to teens...A good introduction to scary stories while still being suspenseful enough to hold the interest of older readers, too."
Resource Links
"The dialogue...is excellent, up-to-date, and witty, moving the story along well, reflective of the way real students talk to each other."
Children's Literature - Naomi Milliner
As punishment for a prank gone awry, Elliot (an innocent bystander) and Shannon are assigned to clean out an old boathouse (don't all high schools have those?). Because the boathouse is creepy, Shannon decides to put the cleaning on hold and build her own Ouija board instead (doesn't everybody?). Before they know it, the two have managed to contact a ghost—and an angry one at that. By story's end, they not only figure out who the spirit is, but who killed her and why. And, if that's not enough, they go from loathing each other to lusting after each other—all in less than three hours! In addition to being equal parts predictable and contrived, there is a great deal of offensive language sprinkled generously throughout. Elliot is quite unlikable, and Shannon is the stereotypical good-girl-gone-Goth, whose beauty and sweetness are buried just below the surface. The real mystery here is why, and how, this was published in the first place.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459802025
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/1/2012
  • Series: Orca Soundings Series
  • Pages: 136
  • Sales rank: 1,536,376
  • Age range: 12 - 17 Years
  • Lexile: HL460L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.80 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex Van Tol grew up reading a wide range of books, from Enid Blyton to Stephen King. She taught middle school for eight years, then made the switch to writing for a living. Alex lives in Victoria, British Columbia, with her family. Visit www.alexvantol.com for more information.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2015

    Jewel

    Res 8

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 21, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    School newcomer Eliott was in the wrong place at the wrong time;

    School newcomer Eliott was in the wrong place at the wrong time; goth girl Shannon and her friends have taken the principal's car into the wood and were caught.  The punishment:  cleaning out an old boathouse. As alike as night and day (or so they think), the teens do not look forward to the long day and sarcasm rules their words.  Shannon makes an Ouija board and although Eliott is skeptical of any possible contact with the dead, creepy things begin to happen.  How did the door slam shut when it was propped open with a brick?  What caused the sense of touch on the back of Eliott's neck?  Shannon supplies information about a missing school mate and the possibility of a connection becomes stronger.  Will they find a body?  Is there really something to this connection with the dead?  A good read for someone wanting just a bit of a scare.  When describing the book, I had to explain to a 7th-grader what an Ouija board does so the current generation of readers might need some background knowledge to enjoy the book.  Another good read in the Orca Soundings series.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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